Spring Game Do's

toad1204's picture
April 11, 2013 at 3:57p

As a resident of the city of Cincinnati I felt it my responsibility to clue some of my fellow 11Ws into Cincinnati Do's especially when it comes to the downtown area.


I'd surmise a vast majority will be driving and returning to their respective cities.  As such parking will be some what interesting.

Here's where I'd park

  1. The Reds/ Bengals parking facility.  $10 for the day, I called.  Its usually $20 for Reds games. 
  2. Parking is also available at Fountain Square which is a bit of a walk but for only $5.00 per 8 hrs. 
  3. Park on the Kentucky side at Newport on the Levee and walk the Purple People Bridge over.  Should be fairly nice and let the kids expel some energy.  This is probably a 1-2 mile walk though.  This is also the home of the Newport Aquarium if you have little ones.  Adults can usually get through it in a couple hours.  I'd look for discount tickets if you plan on going.


Being Cincinnati you have vast choices in a very up and coming area around The Banks Projects.  I'll try to hit the major points and work my way away from the stadium.

Moerlien Lager HouseMoerlein Lager House
  1. Yardhouse - Just opened.  200 beers on tap and a full menu.  Food is pretty good from my lone visit and I've yet to hear a negative review.  The place is like an upscale BW3. 
  2. Moerlien Lager House - Legendary Cincinnati beer which just opened the restaurant last year.  Love the building and the views.  They only serve local and their own beer so no actual "brand" names.
  3. Tin Roof/ Holy Grail.  These are between items 1 and 2 and are your typical bars with your typical bar food.  Holy Grail is a take from the old Holy Grail on UC's campus and Tin Roof is a island themed country bar with cheap beer. 
  4. Skyline- corner of 4th and Sycamore.  This is Cincinnati Chili.  Id go with a three-way (noodles, chili, and cheese)  Warning if you've not had it before and dont have a stomach of steel and plan on driving back I hope you have the Rest Area's mapped out. 
  5. Montgomery Inn (Boathouse) - Although this is not the original much like the Morelien house above the building is impressive.  I'd call ahead for reservations.  The weekends are when they do the majority of their business and be sure to request a table in over looking the river.
  6. Montgomery Inn (Original) - Again same as above but the original location.  This is on your way back to Columbus and the amount of sports memorabilia is staggering.  Worth a look if you have time.  Also the neighbor is nice, quite the small town feel while being fairly close to the city.
  7. Haufbrau Haus - (Kentucky Side) German style beer is giant mugs with German food.  Always a good time but smoking is allowed as is dancing on the benches.  I could go into stories but theres not enough hours in the day.  Smoking is allowed.
  8. Nada - Gourmet Mexican food.  Get the fish and pork belly tacos with their margaritas.  I usually sit at the bar.  If you go you'll know why.  Make reservations especially as it gets late this place gets packed. 
  9. Nicholson's - Whiskey/ Scotch bar.  Claim to be the original gastropub in the city.  Great whiskey selection but my meals here have be Ok.
  10. Via Vite - Gourmet Italian food.  I've had numerous business dinners here luckily not getting the tab.  It does not matter what you get here, its going to be good, but you're going to pay for it.
  11. Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse - Much like Via Vite, its good and you're going to pay for it but man are the steaks good.  Just voted Cincinnati's best restaurant.  Local restaurateur Jeff Ruby has 3 steakhouses (Precinct, Jeff Rubys, and Carlo and Johnnys, Yes in that order per the recent Best of Cincinnati ratings).  I get the chili rub filet and sides.  Mouth is watering just thinking about it. Need reservations.
  12. Senate, A Tavola (Wood-Fired Pizza/ Italian), Abigal Street (Tapas), Bakersfield (Tacos, Tequilia), Lavomatic (American).  These are put together because they are all on the same block and do their respective cuisine well.  I'm going to suggest Senate because it is my favorite.  Gourmet Hot Dogs (oxymoron I know) named after famous people, the Lindsey Lohan is really a hot mess, but a delicious hot mess.  Went last Friday had a James Franco, all beef hot dog, brioche bun, shredded braised short ribs, beer and cheese sauce and tempura fried broccoli.  Go with the mussels to start off.  I cant say enough about this place but the surrounding restaurants are as good as well for their crafts.  Be prepared to wait though.  No matter the time of day there will probably be a line.  Also The Lackman is down the street so you can get a cocktail and they'll call you when your table is ready. 
  13. Gordos Burgers - Norwood - Getting away from downtown this place is what you want a burger spot to be.  Multiple different burgers and a rotating beer list. 
  14. Brew River GastroPub - Cajun/ NOLA  Just went last week and its worth it.  Great local beer selection but it does lean a bit on the pricey side.
  15. Terrys Turf Club - Mainly here because it was Diners Drive Inn's and Dives.  Take your pick of burgers and enjoy the americana around you.  Tiny place, be prepared to wait unless you get here around 3 in the afternoon.
  16. Blue Ash Chili just because it's Cincinnati I need to have chili options.  This too was on the DDD as mentioned above and they have a signed plaque to prove it.  Apparently the Greek salad is excellent.  I've always done the three way and cheese coney.  Its on the way back to Columbus and you get off at the Kings Island exit and turn left. 
Gordo's Pub in NorwoodGordo's Pub in Norwood

Also of Note - The Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Mainstrasse, regularly has bottles of Pappy Van Winkle for consumption.  Also a good area with some good night life.  Smoking is allowed. 

While you're in Kentucky it's worthwhile to check out Party Source, or as I've referred to it the Wal-Mart of alcohol.  This place will blow your mind if you've not been before.  Be prepared to walk out with something or many somethings though.

The Horseshoe Casino is open but much like the Columbus Hollywood table limits are up to $25 for the weekends.  I have not been but have heard good things about the food and the experience minus the other gamers in there.  It has been open for around a month so it should still have that new car smell.

If you have questions feel free to shoot away.  I'm sure I'll be on here the next 3 days.

Happy Travels.

Go Bucks.

Comments Show All Comments

theobi's picture

STRONGLY recommend Moerlien Lager House. Fantastic. The smothered chicken is phenomenal. Also there's tons of places to eat at Newport and its a nice walk over the river. 

toad1204's picture

Beer Can Chicken Sandwich or Braised beef shank.  It's too bad its going to be cold or the second story balcony offers a nice view over the river.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

buck-I.8's picture

When you go to Mexico, don't drink the water. When you go to Cincy, don't eat the Skyline. 

toad1204's picture

After a night out, nothing tastes better.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

MN Buckeye's picture

I miss the Cincy chili.  When we make chili here, it's always Cincy style.  The more hot sauce, the better!

danbrown7665's picture

what on earth are u talking about! Skyline is the best food in cincy. gotta have that skyline

"limitations, like fears are often just illusions"
-Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete of all time

BucksfanXC's picture

You are awesome

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

AJW_16's picture

Cannot recommend Gordo's enough. Somewhat of a hole in the wall, but you will not be disappointed. It was within walking distance of our apartment when my roommates and I were in college, and needless to say we frequented it a lot. Get the Gordo while you are there and wash it down with a Domaine du Page.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Love that Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce. 

Class of 2010.

KBonay's picture

Yardhouse! It won't disappoint. 

Alpo's picture

I went to Yardhouse in Boston on Monday before opening day at Fenway Park.  Was only there for about 20 minutes but the beer selection was incredible and even though I didn't get to eat the food looked pretty good too. I would definitely check it out!
Great post toad! Wish I could be in Cincy on Sat!

KBonay's picture

Food is great. I eat @ Yardhouse a few times a month out here. Great place for lunch, dinner or drinks. If you like desserts, get the Salted Carmel Butterscotch pudding. Then come back and thank me later. Oh, and order the Miso Sea Bass while you are at it. 

toad1204's picture

Ordered from the "Snack" page expecting to go back and order Entrees, my female companion and I were full, well full enough.  Had to keep ordering adult beverages.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

BuckeyeUro's picture

Really appreciate the insights man. This is my first time in the Queen city and would love to make the most out of it!

btalbert25's picture

Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar is awesome.  I know they have Pappy 12, 20, and 23.  They did have 15, but last time I went there I ordered it and it was gone.  The 20 year is around 20 bucks, maybe 25 for a pour, but it's well worth it if you've never tried.  I think, can't swear to it because I haven't ordered it, but the 23 may be over 50 bucks.  Cool  bar though, and the bartenders are very knowledgeable. 
EDIT:  I just checked out their page on Facebook, they just obtained another bottle of Pappy 20, so it'll definitely be there this weekend.  

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Is the cheese on the chili optional at Skyline?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

danbrown7665's picture

yes, you can say no cheese. Skyline=heaven

"limitations, like fears are often just illusions"
-Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete of all time

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Good to know. I was avoiding Skyline because of that.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

buckguyfan1's picture

Is City View Tavern still around 1/2 way up Mt.Adams?  Used to get a pretty mean "electric skillet" cheeseburger with some local cold draft beer at that Hole in the Wall.  Moved to Fl 13 years ago, but always loved the good eats and drinks while living in Cincy. Go Bucks, hope those of you from 11W Nation that are able to attend the game enjoy!

toad1204's picture

It is, stopped in there about a month ago while in Mt. Adams.  Great Sunday afternoon spot to drink a beer and sit look over the city/ river.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

buckguyfan1's picture

Good to hear its still there.  Good views and good brews!

BUCKtuckian's picture

One of my friends that's going with me tomorrow works in downtown, across the street from the Banks. He goes over and eats lunch there regularly. He said the Yardhouse would be opening early Saturday at 10 am and that there will be a radio show broadcast from the Holy Grail. He didn't mention what station. He passed the info via text message.
See everyone tomorrow, GO BUCKS!

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

danbrown7665's picture

i got box seats for the spring game. should be fun

"limitations, like fears are often just illusions"
-Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete of all time

btalbert25's picture

One other place to add to the list in terms of food is The Celestial Steakhouse.  It's in Mt Adams.  A bit pricey, maybe not quite Jeff Ruby's, but for 4 of us, it was about 165 bucks.  It is a really good restaurant with an amazing view.  Floor to ceiling windows, and you look right over downtown and the river.  Service was great and the food was really good.

Dayton Buckeye's picture

Taking the youngest daughter down for the game. If you have kids park over at Newport. Nice mall and as Toad said, the walk will wear them down a bit so they can sit still at the game.

AngryWoody's picture

Cincinnati is like it's own little country. It's funny really.

Our Honor Defend!

yrro's picture

Hofbrau Haus is about the only reason I ever visit Cinci/Newport.

btalbert25's picture

I remember when it opened, everyone wanted to go there.  I went about a dozen times in probably a 2 month period and haven't been since. 

toad1204's picture

Whole area kind of lost it's shine after The Banks initial development.  Still get over there once every 3-4 months.  Smoking drives many away.  In the summer though, the Biergarten is one of the better places to sit outside on a Saturday evening.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

btalbert25's picture

I just don't much care for the levy.  There are some cool places to hang out there, but if I'm going to Newport to hang out I'd rather go to the Beer Cellar.  Even that place I haven't been in probably 5 years though.  I used to hang out in Covington a lot too, but not so much anymore.  Occasionally, I'll go to side bar, keystone, and down under by the justice center.  The Mac and Cheese at Keystone is amazing.  They probably have 15 different ones to choose from.

ab42beerman's picture

I've eaten a lot of good steak in my time but the cut I got at the Precinct last year was the best I've ever had.  Pricey but unbelievable.

btalbert25's picture

It was recently on Food Network.  They have a show called Chef Wanted with Anne Burrel.  They basically have a contest with 4 chefs to find the next executive chef of a restaurant.  I didn't realize Jeff Ruby was so well known nationwide, I figured he was just a big fish in a small pond here, but the chefs all knew him very well and wanted to be part of his "empire".  I also didn't know The Precinct was so well known around the country.  Apparently, it just landed on some list as one of the nations best steakhouses.  I know Ruby's is where celebrities go when they are in town.  Charlie and Martin Sheen were in there when they came to a Reds game last year for example.

jthiel09's picture

200 beers on tap? I know where I'm heading before / after the Spring Game.


OurHonorDefend09's picture

First off, thank you very much. As a graduating senior, I can't wait to experience my last dose of Buckeye football. However, I'm from the opposite end of the state and even though I'm going with Cincy folks, I would have no idea where to check out.
The Yardhouse and Moerlein places seem like the most appealing options to get some food and beers before the game. Does anyone know how busy I should expect either place to be at 11am (opening time)? If one is always more packed/has less space to sit, I'll probably decide to go with the other location.
Thanks again for the help/guide!

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

btalbert25's picture

My guess is Yardhouse will be busier, but I don't know that for sure.  It's very new, and people have heard about it other places and want to check it out.  I think the closest Yardhouse to here is near Chicago.  So it may be worth checking out, but I think it's going to be busier. Lagerhouse is also a pretty cool place to check out though.  It's unique as well.  Holy Grail will likely be the busiest.  That place is always packed before games, Reds or Bengals. If there's going to be a radio show going on, it'll be busy.  

toad1204's picture

Both have big biergartens off the main building and open seating.  Should be able to squeeze alot of people into each.  If nothing else walk into the Moerlien to see where Riverfront's home plate used to be and make your way towards Paul Brown.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Nappy's picture

We're planning on hitting up the casino afterwards.  I'm hoping it's everything it's been cracked up to be.  

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

OSUinFl's picture

I like gold star chili better amazing 3 ways dogs. You  have to get some Graeter's ice cream at one of there retail stores.. This is the best ice cream in the United States.

toad1204's picture

Wearing a Reds pullover with a giant C on the left and aviators just yell Toad ill answer.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02...